Changing Your Sims' Neighborhood, One Job at a Time

The Sims 3 Ambitions Expansion Pack Changing Your Sims' Neighborhood, One Job at a Time

Some players of The Sims never leave the deep architectural shopping catalog that is Buy Mode or the Create a Sim character creation machine. We're completely fine with this, but we couldn't overlook the opportunity to bring these wildly creative players into Live Mode for The Sims 3 Ambitions.

The Architectural Design and Stylist careers will do exactly this, while setting your Sim up as a tattoo artist with a tattoo chair is another sure-fire way to get your creative fix in Live Mode. Get ready for a "day in the life" as we follow a Sim in each of these professions!

Architectural Designer Day 10: The Entertainment Room, a.k.a. "The Man Cave"

The Sims 3 Ambitions Expansion PackMy Sim, Grant Duders, has made a name for himself in the community as an up and coming architectural designer. However, he doesn't have enough clout to land high paying jobs like home remodeling or kitchen redesigns. Thankfully, a local sports enthusiast is keen to have THE room for watching athletic events with friends. As a male, Grant Duders understands the macho psyche and feels up to the task.

Before I begin remodeling, I have Grant chat with the owner of the home to learn more about his tastes. It turns out his client Loves the Outdoors and is a Snob. This is good information as I can incorporate these traits into my Sim's design.

With Grant's client's traits in mind, I begin the renovation. This puts me in a variation of Build and Buy Modes called Renovation Mode. In the top left corner of the screen there is a list of requirements set forth by the client. These always vary so that each job is unique, which makes sense because every client is unique! For this entertainment room Grant's client has requested a new big screen TV, a bar, a comfortable sofa, and a foosball table for entertainment. That sounds easy, but I'm working on a limited budget and there is only so much room in which to fit a foosball table, bar, and big screen TV!

Because the client is a Snob, I know he wants me to spare no expense. I use only the highest quality items, which means I have less money to spend on new flooring and additional decorations. The wall-mounted big screen saves space on the floor, so that actually works in my favor.

Now a good way to cater to his Loves the Outdoors trait is to install windows - lots of them. My budget is tight at this point, but I find a few that really open up the space, yet still maintain a more rugged, manly aesthetic.

Before I exit Renovation Mode I double-check to ensure I didn't clutter the room or place objects where Grant Duders' client cannot use them. I can always go back and forth between Renovation Mode and Live Mode in case I want to conduct further research on the client or even paint a portrait of him for that special touch.

Grant tells the client the job is done. I'm a little nervous as I watch the client pace around the room to examine my work. Did I pick the right colors? Will he like the couch? Thankfully, the client loves it and Grant receives a great review. He was pleased to see he got everything he asked for and also took note of the fact that I put in some windows so he could see the outdoors. Although the client offered my Sim a drink from his new bar, my Sim declined - his mind is focused on work today. Speaking of work, Grant Duders just earned a promotion which means new clients and dozens of potential jobs!

Stylist Day 2: Introducing the Bowl Cut

Stylists wield a pair of scissors that can make someone's day - or absolutely ruin their week. It's a lot of responsibility, which is why Katy McMenace was drawn to the career. The local salon had open styling stations and Kay appeared to be a shoo-in for the position. But looks can be deceiving.

Poor town!

It's true that Katy is a bit malicious in her fashion vision, and it doesn't help at all that this intent is paired with an utter lack of skill. After all, most Sims aren't born brilliant stylists. It's something they must learn and improve with time.

Katy's first client (or is it victim?) came in requesting a new hairstyle as she had big dinner plans for the evening. I had Katy briefly converse with the client, after which Katy set to work. At this point the game switches to a new, fashion-themed Create a Sim. I browse the options and settle on a short hairstyle that I deem fetching and playful for a dinner date. Sadly, Katy's possessed hands ended up creating a horrid perm that was not meant for this world, but more suited to an evil dimension.

Needless to say, that job did not end well and the client left a tinge angry. Well, "tinge" might be putting it a bit mildly because her hair was literally pulsing with over-perm.

The second day brought in another client. This client wanted a complete makeover - hair, outfit, everything. The client had recently had a mid-life crisis and desired a new direction.

The client seemed a bit stuffy and reserved, as if she didn't go outside enough to enjoy the fresh air. I selected an exciting and slightly revealing skirt as well as a shirt with a really cool print. Instead of a tight ponytail I selected a new hairstyle that let her hair down - no reservations I thought!

But then, I had a realization - Katy isn't meant to be a Stylist. At least, not a good one. Though she may be fired soon, there are plenty of ways to have fun while still employed.

I immediately took a complete design U-Turn and decided the theme of this tragic makeover would be flannel. Flannel skirt, flannel shirt, flannel heels - the works. I also had Katy buzz the poor client's head.

So what if there won't be a Day 3? Katy McMenace is going out with a bang. That doesn't mean this has to be every Sim's story. In the same way that Stylists can destroy, they can also create. Clients can enter the salon miserable and exit with an entirely new outlook on life, a boost to their self-esteem, and a fantastic new style that will really turn heads... in a good way.

Tattoos as a Work of Art

The Sims 3 Ambitions Expansion PackIt wasn't enough for us to simply allow tattoos in The Sims. Applying a tattoo is a life-altering decision as tattoos are more or less permanent. We wanted tattoos to be works of art.

My Sim, Buzz (just Buzz), has a tattoo chair in the basement of the local salon. Sims come to him for a tattoo because they know he will create a unique masterpiece every time.

Once Buzz's client is in the chair I am taken to the tattoo editor in Create a Sim. Within this powerful tool I can select where I want to place the tattoo: upper, lower, or full back, neck, ankle, chest, stomach, wrist, shoulder, bicep, or forearm.

I then pick the tattoo I want for Buzz's client. There are dozens to choose from and I'm able to mix and match any of them, on any part of the body, with up to five layers. Every layer can have its colors modified in multiple ways, so I can have blue and gold flames or hot pink skulls if that's what Buzz chooses to use, and sometimes he does!

I can change the size of individual layers to better mix and match. For example, a gnome should be large, whereas I want the barbwire layer to be a small accent. Finally, I can modify the opacity on the entire set so that it gently blends with the client's skin or is a dark, bold statement for all to see.

That's a lot of choice and power! Thankfully, Buzz is a patient artist and is up to the task. He is able to mix and match with almost no reservations, with the exception of llama tattoos. Buzz refuses to work with llamas as inspiration.

Buzz is pretty tough, so I'll let him have that one.